... Journalist cocktails with Jamaican jerk ribs, followed by jalfrezi chicken, jardaloo ma gosht, jhatpat bhindi, jeera aloo and jolada roti. Next came a pre-pudding of juniper junket, jasmine jelly and jumbles followed by Jaffa cake pudding washed down with Jurancon.
J night was a spicy affair which took place before Christmas when the UK was swathed in thick snow and food shopping was a struggle. I had planned to include a spiced jerusalem artichoke soup in between the jerk ribs and the curry marathon, but they were impossible to get hold of, despite their seasonality. Lily, one of our dinner guests, was in no way disappointed by this menu omission - she is no fan of soup, explaining her feelings by saying "it isn't a drink, it isn't a meal. What's the point of it?". I have met others who agree with her, but I am not one of them. Soup is comforting, warming and delicious: perfect for a snowy evening. But alas, it was the snow that kept us from our soup course and left the shops with empty shelves.
As usual, Richard made an excellent J-themed compilation CD including Philip Jeays, Jonathan Coulton, Jarvis Cocker, Jurassic 5, The Jackson 5, The Jam, Jane's Addiction, Janis Joplin, Jeff Buckley, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Jimi Hendrix, Johnny Cash, Joni Mitchell and Joy Division. For the cocktail, we chose to make Journalists - a classic martini-style cocktail, which dates back from the early 1900's.
2 oz gin
1/2 oz sweet vermouth
1/2 oz dry vermouth
1/2 oz triple sec
A generous dash of lemon juice
A dash of Angostura Bitters
Shake over ice, strain into chilled cocktail glasses and serve with a twist of lemon.